wow, baby girl!

screaming Yesterday, the nurse was telling me that they started weaning K off the ventilator, right? And she said that they hoped to remove her breathing tube within a week, right?

Well I went in there this morning and, da, da, da—- her breathing tube was gone!! Once again, I’m flabbergasted! (As they say.) Granted, she is back under the bilirubin light, but I expect that to come and go while she’s in there. But the tube down her mouth/throat is gone and instead she has some oxygen going to her nose. That means that all her breaths are done on her own. She looks like they’re a little bit of work, but she’s getting there. She also still has the feeding tube but somehow it looks less annoying now.

And it seems to me that she’s grown, by the size of her hands, anyway…

I think that...

In other news, I guess I have some Googling to do because I’m still seeing stars… Need to find out how long it takes your eyes to get back to normal so I can figure out if this is an issue with my eyes or something else. Not sure that it’s my blood pressure as that’s actually been pretty good. Also, why am I still having heartburn? Shouldn’t that have ceased by the time she was gone outta me? :P

Oh, blah, I get this: “Eye changes will continue for one to two months after birth. If you’re nursing, it will continue until one to two months after weaning, when the hormones stabilize.” Grrrrrr…..

Also, I made supper tonight for the first time since mid-February. Though I don’t really care to cook, and Steve did start the meat for me, it was kinda nice making a supper at home again. I made spaghetti with meat sauce and brownies for dessert. Nothing gourmet but, hey, it works. I figure that starting next Monday I need to start making my lunches, too, or other meals for at the hospital. It’s really too expensive to be eating out or eating in the hospital cafe every day, even if it is more convenient.

And in other random news, Elijah is officially spoiled rotten. He’s going to freak out when Kayleigh comes home and we’re suddenly not doing anything interesting or fun for a little while…

Wednesday, and the worst thing

After much randomness, I took Elijah for lunch and play time at the park.

at the park

After that, we headed to the hospital to see Kayleigh. First thing Elijah did was to open up one of her windows and talk to her. He just kept saying, “Hi Kayleigh, how ya doin’ baby girl?” It was totally adorable. And it kinda cracked me up because I heard Steve say that once, and Elijah must have, too, and he just kept on saying it.

talking to Kayleigh

He caught me there, getting his picture while he was talking to her, so he had to ham it up a bit. We also took some pictures of her with the bunny from one of Steve’s sisters and her new husband.

with the bunny from Aunt Liz & Uncle Matt

And both of my kiddos:

my little kiddos

But you know what? I’m sure that my perspective would be different were Kayleigh not doing so well there, and progressing just fine, but I think the worst thing about it all is when she cries. You can’t hear her, because of that tube down her throat, something about an air leak, but you can clearly see it in her face. Here she was crying and the nurse calmed her, with a little help from Elijah:

calming the baby down

But it just breaks my heart when I see her face crumple up like that and there’s really not anything I can do about it. I can talk to her, and can put my hands on her like the nurse did, but I can’t pick her up or cuddle her or anything. And I hate that.

But… only temporary. Only temporary.

little ‘roo

Kangaroo Care Today I got to Kangaroo Care Kayleigh for the first time. The nurses put her on my chest, skin to skin, and she laid there and slept for over an hour before I had to go.

From Wikipedia on Kangaroo Care:
“…is a method used to restore the unique mother-infant bond following the sudden separation during the birth experience particularly in premature births.”
“Researchers have found that the close physical contact with the parent can help to stabilize the preterm infant’s heartbeat, temperature, and breathing. Preterm infants often have difficulty coordinating their breathing and heart rate.”

And I dare say that all of that is true!

I used to do this with Elijah, too, only then I didn’t know it could be so important. We’d just fall asleep together, lol. Those were the days with him, before he decided he was too busy to sit with his mama!

But it was so sweet to hold her like this and though, as you can see, she was facing away from me, they gave me a little hand mirror that I could use to see her face.
(more…)

much too comfortable

Elijah is much too comfortable with lots of things today, including, but not limited to, the NICU and my computer.

Last Wednesday sucked with him in the NICU – actually the whole evening sucked – but it started when he first got in there, walked right up to Kayleigh’s bed and started lowering it with the foot pedal thing, despite my telling him to stop. Halfway through the evening, he decided he was going to see Kayleigh again while in the waiting room and took off down the hall to the NICU like he was just going to go in alone – I had to chase him down. The last thing that night was him crawling around on the NICU floor while the nurse practitioner was talking to me. Another nurse gave him hand sanitizer and my friend took him back to the waiting room.

Oy.

Then tonight, he is freaking out down at my computer. I log in via remote desktop and I can’t see anything wrong. Eventually I go down there and sure enough, despite my creating him his own login and trying to block him from anything and everything but his games… he managed to get into the control panel, open the settings for the video card, and turn the whole screen upside down. What an adventure that was. Do you know how hard it is to get the mouse to go where you want it to go while the screen is upside down? Very confusing! I ended up logging back in with remote desktop and fixing it from there.

Yes, he’s way too comfortable with things he should not be comfortable with! Yesterday, also in the NICU, when I was going to hold the baby, the nurse lifted up the top of the incubator bed with the foot pedal. Seconds later, Elijah says, “Oh, so that is how you lift that up,” like he was making a mental note of it for future reference.

Crazy kid. Really, I think the problem is his exceptional memory. :-P

my tiny little one

Kayleigh It’s been a very busy weekend! The rehearsal on Friday, then the wedding on Saturday — more about those later — then a late start Sunday and to the hospital. We didn’t get to go on Friday and Saturday, but there were lots of changes while we were gone! The nitric oxide was removed, no more antibiotics, no more blood pressure medicines, they started her feedings again — she’s getting 3.5 mililiters now, every 4 hours — the oxygen is coming down all the time, the bilirubin light is gone, and her IV moved to her foot. SO, since the IV moved, I got to hold her for the first time today!

She’s still so tiny, of course, and she slept through the whole thing, so I still haven’t seen her eyes, but it was amazing!

Holifields 4 Holifields 4

holding Kayleigh for the first time Elijah checks out Kayleigh

I know I’m slow on responding to people about stuff, everywhere, left and right, but I’ll catch up eventually! I feel like I have no time for anything these days. Hopefully starting tomorrow things will turn around a bit as we settle into a schedule and I’ll start to be able to breathe!